Rothschild Giraffe Born In U.K.
Paignton Zoo in Devon on the South Coast of the United Kingdom is the location of one of
the most recent giraffe births. It happened on Valentine’s Day (Feb 14th) and the Rothschild giraffe was born to Yoda (Dad) and Janica (Mum) at around 2.00am in the morning.
Although the birth went well, Senior Head Mammal Keeper Matt Webb said that “he did not suckle down on Tuesday. We hoped mother and calf would settle down and he would be able to feed but keeper’s and the Zoo’s in-house vet team had to step in and feed him by hand. Mum is being a bit more attentive this morning so we are hopeful that things will work out.”
The new, as yet unnamed arrival, already has a two year old brother called Tonda and Mum and Dad are quite well travelled; Yoda came from a Danish zoo in 2006 and Janica arrived from the Czech Republic in 2005. Although Rothschild giraffes seem to be fairly prevalent in zoos around the world, they are in fact listed as an endangered species so a new arrival is always welcome.
Niger Sees Giraffe Comeback
Some more good news and this time from Africa where the West African giraffe appears to be making a welcome comeback. Back in 1996 the giraffe population in Niger had fallen to a dangerously low number of 50. This led to a number of conservation initiatives driven by the Association to Safeguard the Giraffes of Niger (ASGN) and the French zoo, Doue La Fontaine.
The efforts worked on the assumption that the best way to promote the giraffe population was to encourage the local population to make small changes to the environment which would benefit giraffes. Poaching has been virtually eradicated and the only remaining danger is giraffes getting injured by motorised traffic.
All the efforts seem to have paid off and the latest census recorded more than 300 West African giraffes in 2011.